Wrongful Termination Examples

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Wrongful Termination Examples

In most states, employers can fire you without reason. However, if an employer terminated you illegally, you could be entitled to reinstatement and damages, such as back pay. Wrongful termination examples can include discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, and many others.

Getting fired illegally is distressing and can land you and your family in significant financial difficulties. You do not have to stand for it. Morgan & Morgan is dedicated to fighting for the rights of employees and could help you get justice if your employer acted unethically and unlawfully.

Contact us today to discover whether you were wrongfully fired and qualify for compensation.

Common Examples of Wrongful Termination

Losing a job can be an upsetting and stressful experience, especially if you do not see it coming. However, in some cases, getting fired is more than just an unfortunate situation. Unlawful termination occurs when your employer fires you for reasons that violate federal or state laws, such as discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract. Here is a closer look at some of the most common wrongful termination examples:

Workplace Discrimination

Federal law prohibits employers from firing employees based on certain protected characteristics, such as race, gender, age, religion, national origin, and disability. Moreover, employers must not retaliate against employees who complain about discriminatory practices in the workplace. For example, if you were fired due to age, race, or disability, your employer wrongfully terminated you.


Over half of the complaints filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2021 dealt with retaliation. An employer may retaliate against you in various circumstances, including due to:

  • Filing or assisting with a workers’ compensation claim
  • Complaining about your employer violating wage and hour laws
  • Reporting sexual harassment
  • Filing a discrimination complaint
  • Alerting authorities to an employer’s illegal activities
  • Requesting reasonable accommodation for a disability

In the above examples and others, employees are generally protected by federal law. Therefore, your termination may be considered wrongful if an employer fires you on retaliatory grounds.

Breach of Contract

A breach of contract occurs when your employer fails to comply with the terms of your employment contract, which can include:

  • Terminating you without cause
  • Failing to provide the promised salary and benefits
  • Failing to provide a safe work environment

If an employee is fired in violation of their contract, they may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Violations

Employees who require time away from work for specific family emergencies or medical issues are generally entitled to leave under the FMLA. Such circumstances can include:

  • The birth or adoption of a child
  • Caring for a severely ill close family member
  • Recovering from illness

If your employer violated your rights under the FMLA and fired you, you could have a wrongful termination case.


Whistleblowing describes an employee reporting illegal or unethical activity by their employer to the appropriate authorities. Federal law protects whistleblowers from any type of retaliation, including termination. If you were fired because you blew the whistle on your employer, they wrongfully terminated you, and you could seek damages.

This list of wrongful termination examples is not exhaustive. Therefore, consult a labor attorney for help and advice if you suspect that your employer wrongfully dismissed you.

You Could Be Entitled to Wrongful Termination Damages

Wrongfully terminated employees may have the right to recover damages. However, what you could recover will depend on the circumstances of your case and the applicable laws. In some cases, you could be reinstated to your former position and recover awards for:

  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Emotional distress
  • Attorney’s fees and legal expenses

Wrongfully terminated employees may also receive punitive damages. Damages for wrongful termination should compensate you adequately for your financial losses and emotional effects caused by your employer’s unlawful conduct. A labor and employment lawyer at Morgan & Morgan could fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What to Do After a Wrongful Termination?

    Getting fired can be a distressing and frustrating experience. However, if your employer wrongfully terminated you, take the necessary steps to protect your rights, as you could be entitled to reinstatement and damages. The best next steps after being wrongfully terminated include the following:

    Review the Employment Contract and Company Policies

    Most employees are employed at will and do not have written contracts. However, if you have a contract with your employer, review it meticulously after getting fired. Check if your employer followed the proper company policies and procedures for termination or whether they violated any of your rights.

    Understanding contracts and company policies can be challenging. However, a labor and employment lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you understand your contract and determine whether you were wrongfully dismissed.

    Gather Evidence of Wrongful Termination

    Gathering documentation related to your employment can help to strengthen your case. Evidence that could help to prove a wrongful termination claim can include:

    • Performance reviews
    • Emails and other forms of correspondence
    • Your employment contract
    • Your employer handbook
    • Company memos
    • Documents of disciplinary actions

    If possible, obtain statements from coworkers or witnesses who may have seen or heard something that supports your claim.

    File a Complaint With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

    If you believe your employer violated your rights, consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on:

    • Race
    • Color
    • Sex
    • National origin
    • Religion
    • Age
    • Genetic information

    Note that time is of the essence, as complaints with the EEOC should generally be filed within 180 days of the wrongful termination.

    Consider Mediation or Arbitration

    Mediation and arbitration are dispute resolution processes that can help you resolve a wrongful termination dispute without going to court. Mediation and arbitration are usually less formal and cheaper than filing a lawsuit and involve working with a neutral third party to reach a settlement with your employer.

    Consult With a Morgan & Morgan Employment Lawyer

    An employment attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of seeking legal recourse. They can also represent you in court if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit against your employer. Morgan & Morgan’s employment attorneys are experienced in handling wrongful termination cases and could help you get compensated for your losses.

    Protect Your Dignity and Professional Reputation

    Getting fired can be infuriating and upsetting. However, it is best to deal with the situation calmly and professionally. Lashing out against your employer, whether in person or online, could harm your professional reputation and jeopardize your legal case. Instead of dwelling on the negative, it can be helpful to direct your energy to find new employment and move forward with your life.

    Being wrongfully terminated can be one of the most challenging experiences in life. However, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and get justice. Since labor laws can be complex and vary from state to state, consult with a legal expert to increase your chances of resolving the dispute in your favor.

  • How Can a Labor and Employment Lawyer Help You Get Justice?

    If you were unlawfully fired, seeking the advice and assistance of a labor and employment lawyer can be crucial in protecting your rights. Morgan & Morgan’s labor attorneys specialize in employment law and represent employees in various employment-related disputes, including wrongful termination. We can:

    • Determine whether you have a legal claim for wrongful termination
    • Review your employment contract and other relevant documents
    • Identify whether your employer violated any laws or regulations
    • Negotiate with your employer to try to reach a fair settlement
    • Represent you in court and argue your case powerfully before a judge or jury

    Additionally, our labor lawyers can gather evidence, file paperwork, and meet deadlines to ensure your case is presented effectively. Working with an experienced labor lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you obtain the compensation you deserve when your employer wrongfully terminates you.

  • Which Examples of Wrongful Termination Result in Large Settlements?

    Many factors can influence the damages awarded in a wrongful termination case. Therefore, pinpointing one specific example of wrongful termination that consistently fetches the largest settlements can be tricky. However, specific wrongful termination cases could result in significant damages:

    1. Discrimination

    If an employee is terminated based on protected characteristics, such as race, gender, or age, the damages awarded in a wrongful termination case can be substantial. Discrimination counts as a severe violation of federal and state laws. Courts may award damages for lost wages, emotional distress, and even punitive damages.

    2. Retaliation

    If a worker is fired in retaliation for engaging in protected activity, such as reporting discrimination or harassment or participating in a whistleblower investigation, they could also receive significant compensation.

    3. Breach of Contract

    Suppose an employer breaches the employment contract, for example, by terminating a worker without cause. In that case, the wrongfully fired worker may qualify for damages for lost wages, benefits, and other compensation they would have received if the contract had been honored.

    However, damages awarded to the wrongfully terminated employee can depend on many other factors, such as the length of the employee’s employment with the company and the availability of evidence to support the employee’s claim. Therefore, to find out what types of damages you could qualify for, consult with an experienced employment attorney at Morgan & Morgan, who can analyze your specific wrongful termination claim.

  • What Is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim?

    The deadlines for filing a claim for wrongful termination vary depending on several factors, including the jurisdiction and the type of claim. Each state has a statute of limitations that sets a time limit for filing a wrongful termination claim. The timeframe can range from one to six years, depending on the state. For example, California’s statute of limitations gives employees two years to file most wrongful termination claims.

    However, the applicable deadline can also vary on the type of claim. Deadlines for common examples of wrongful termination claims include:  

    Retaliation and Discrimination

    If you have a claim for discrimination or retaliation, you must first file a claim with the EEOC, typically within 180 or 300 days of the incident, depending on your state. The agency will then assess your case and can issue you with a “notice to sue,” meaning you can go ahead and sue your employer.

    Breach of Contract Claim

    If you have a breach of contract claim, the employment contract may specify a time limit. The contract could provide a shorter or longer time frame than the applicable statute of limitations.

    It is important to note that these deadlines can be complex, and the consequences of missing a deadline can be severe. Missing a deadline may even prevent you from filing a lawsuit against your employer and recovering compensation. Therefore, consider consulting with one of our employment attorneys as soon as possible to determine the applicable deadlines for your claim.

  • Morgan & Morgan Fights Hard for Wrongfully Fired Workers

    Being told “you’re fired” can be a huge shock, especially when you have done nothing wrong. When the initial shock subsides, you may wonder what you should do now and how to support your loved ones and pay your bills. However, if your employer fired you illegally, you could have legal recourse and recover compensation for lost income, lost benefits, and other damages.  

    We understand that standing up to an employer can feel stressful and overwhelming. However, you don’t have to struggle alone. With America’s largest personal injury firm in your corner, you could have a powerful ally and advocate fighting for your best interests. Morgan & Morgan helps ill-treated workers get what they deserve. Our tenacious labor attorneys fight unethical employers and hold them accountable for their unlawful acts.

    Contact Morgan & Morgan today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn about your employment rights.

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